By Dinesh Agrawal, Ankit A. Shah, Mayank Jain, Anjali Krishnan

On 30 July 2018, the constitution bench of the Supreme Court of India (Court), in Commissioner of Customs (Import), Mumbai (Appellant) v Dilip Kumar and Company & Ors. (Respondent) [Civil Appeal No. 3327 OF 2007], has pronounced the principles for the interpretation of exemption notifications in taxation statues.

The dispute concerned the classification of goods, namely Vitamin – E50 powder (feed grade) under the Customs Tariff Act, 1975. The Respondents contended that they were eligible for a concessional rate of duty under Notification No. 20/99-Cus dated 28 February 1999 (Notification) on the basis of the wider interpretation given to the description of goods specified therein. However, the Appellant was of the view that the concession claimed by the respondent was incorrect since the imported product in question was not covered under the Notification.